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Musings from Sunday

Kingdom Come colouring

Sunday, July 29

Look who’s invited at Herod’s banquet
Look who sits at Herod’s table
Here his courtiers, his officers, his leaders feast
Kingdom of Herod is for Herod’s puppets
Allegiance to him will get you a piece of your own paradise

Shepherdless, the people come out to the deserted place
What do they hope to get out there in a deserted place?
Out there they go for they have lost hope
Out there they go for they have nowhere else to go
Whether here or there, a desert all the same.

Look who’s there in the deserted place, the Godman who says:
Blessed are you who are poor,
For yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you will be satisfied

Look who sits on the green pastures
The people once who had lost all hope
The people once who had nowhere to go
The Shepherd leads his people out
Come to a deserted place and rest for a while

 

Bricks in church

Sunday 22 July

Bricks Re-aligned

Bricks mis-aligned
Oh how the walls of this kingdom is crooked
Built up walls for Herods’ kingdoms leveled according to its ways
Oh how we play our part knowingly unknowingly
Brick by brick on the back of others
Aligned to benefit from the Kingdom of Herod

Jesus sends us out, his prophetic community
Without a bag
Lest we accumulate the riches of this kingdom
Without food and money
Lest we forget our need for one another and our King

Jesus sends us out, his prophetic community
In solidarity with the poor of the kingdom of Herod
To challenge the rich gripping onto wealth, why do you do what you do?
In solidarity with the strangers of the kingdom of Herod
To challenge the self-sufficient self-congratulating their greatness, why?

The Kingdom of God is coming
Dismantling the walls of our Herods’ Kingdoms
You Powers, Structures, Systems of the kingdom of Herod
Feel threatenedThe Kingdom of God is come in Jesus the King

To the people exploited and vulnerable like sheep without a shepherd
As the Lamb of God
Who leads by serving humanity
Not from with-out
But from with-in

Build up walls of Kingdom of God leveled according to the ways of the Lamb
Aligned to be the Refuge for love, peace and hope
Oh how we play our part knowingly unknowingly
Brick by brick together hand-in-hand
Oh how the walls of this Kingdom is straight
Bricks re-aligned

(Mark 6:7-34)

Grace colouring

Sunday 15 July

Mark 5:21-43

“My Daughter…” Jairus pleads at the feet of Jesus. The people are on the move to 12 year old daughter of this prominent man.

Why has Jesus stopped? The crowd is confused. His disciples are quick to pick up the line of the expectations of the crowd: Let us be on the move towards the people’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, Neve Te Aroha.

Jesus insists: “Who touched me?” Jesus stops. Stops his followers and the crowd along with him. Challenges the popular opinion and common sense with Godsense.

A woman appears from the crowd. Her?! We tell her story. Unimportant. From the invisibility of the fringe to the center stage spotlight, she is at the feet of Jesus. She begins to tell her story. Jesus listens. We listen to her story being told by her own words. Finally.

For 12 years, while Jairus’ daughter has been living in the bosom of the society that privileges the privileged, together dreaming of the future ahead of her, this woman has been fatherless, shamed, defenseless and broke.

Jesus weaves her story with ours in the story of God with us, in the chapter of Interruption of Grace. We are not unrelated. God is and always been father to the fatherless, defender of widows, God who sets the lonely in families. Jesus speaks to the woman. Announces to the crowd. Go figure.

“Daughter.”

Be thou my vision

Sunday 24 June

Mark 5:21-43

There is an eager crowd packed around Jesus. A respected leader is at the feet of Jesus pleading him to come save daughter from dying. Soon, the whole crowd along with the disciples and Jesus are on their way to Jairus’ home towards this good and urgent task.

Suddenly, the Scripture introduces a woman, vulnerable and desperate. We would never have known her otherwise. She is an invisible no-one hidden by our good and urgent task. Yet Scripture interrupts us to take note. She weaves her way through the crowd, moving in the shadows, to touch the cloak of Jesus.

Jesus stops: “Who touched me?” The disciples protest: “Can’t you see the crowd?” Let us be on our way towards this good and urgent task. Don’t let this insignificant thing disrupt and delay us. It is an interruption. Yet to God in Christ this is as important. If this is an interruption, it is a neccessary interruption of Grace.

Be thou my vision, we sing. Jesus Christ is our lens through which we see the world. Christ Jesus, refocus our vision so that we see what God sees. Christ Jesus, re-orientate us so that we turn to God’s mission, even when our agenda may be good. Christ Jesus, may we be blessed by your interruption of Grace.

Sunday 17 June

Galileans!
They are drunk on cheap wine
We can smell you out
Smelling of fish, tanned, wrinkled, simple in all senses
Galileans, uneducated, undignified,
In the mother tongues of local back streets
In languages of simple status
In the languages of the people unadorned
No wonder, you praise Jesus Christ

Language fit for God is
Language fit for an Emperor!
In the language of globalizing Empire
Power and influence
Emperor-like God be praised!

Pentecost Spirit, raze to the ground our pride!

We, the Pentecost People,
Worship the Pentecost Spirit
God who takes pleasure
In bringing to expression the Good News
In the languages of all peoples
Even in an unadorned clay pot
The church
Us in Christ

We, the Pentecost People,
Present to the world
Christ in us

Breathe

Jesus says to Nicodemus the Spirit is like the wind. We don’t know where it comes from and where it goes but we hear it in the rustling of the trees. At Pentecost the Spirit, the Wind of the Pentecost, blew upon the people of God.
So what would it sound like as the Spirit like the wind blows over us?

Sound travels as the particles vibrate and collide with one another. Sound travels through something. Medium is through which sound travels. It can be anything but it can’t be nothing. Sound is not heard through a vacuum.

Wind is like the sound. Wind is heard through a medium of the tree or leaves or through a narrow alleyway. The Spirit of Pentecost blows over the church so that she is heard by people. The Wind from heaven blows through the people of God, the body of Christ on earth, so that she is heard.

Perhaps we can be likened to the family of wind instruments like the brass band. Perhaps we are the musical instruments of the Wind from heaven, Spirit of the Pentecost. What is the air that the church breathes in? The Breath of God, the Spirit of Life, the Wind from Heaven, the Spirit of Pentecost. May the Spirit of the Pentecost blow your wind over your people, so that through us you are heard.

Spirit of the Pentecost blow over us like a wind. As you move through us, make us vibrate and collide with one another in our living out together our faith in Jesus. Let your people breathe you in and out that the song of Grace, song of Love, song of Forgiveness, song of Peace, song of Christ Jesus is sung out through to be heard in our communities and neighbourhoods.

Wind of Pentecost image

Wind of Pentecost

Nor’westerlie picks up
Neighbour’s cooking wafts into my living room
Neighbour’s autumn leaves become mine

Nor’westerlie picks up
You’ve smelled me out (my Korean BBQ)
My autumn leaves become yours

Nor’westerlie picks up
You know as well as I do
The noise from the airport will become ours

Perhaps its time to talk, finally.

I champion privacy yours and mine
To keep one another at bay
Yet, what can I do?
How can we stop the wind?

Wind blows where it blows
Creating encounters and relationships
Enemy of apathy and indifference
Making mockery of efforts to keep to myself

So is the Wind from Heaven
So what are you church, the body of Christ?
Remember, you are windlings
Of Pentecost

Play dough at Church

At St Mark’s we used playdough to prayerfully reflect about the Spirit descending on us on this Pentecost Sunday.

Welcome Spirit Wind,

Animator, Sustainer,

You birthed the cosmos, ever expanding,
every system in perpetual motion.
You circulate over earth,
breeze across the surface of eternal waters,
teasing waves to roll;

You twist up the dusty ground,
and give dimension to your beloved,
You inspirit the dead!

Create space in the hearth of our being,
to welcome Spirit Fire, the ignitor of true life!

Take up our hearts, surrendered,
kindling before your Breath—
spark to flicker
flicker to flame,
stoke the hearts of your people!

Like floating embers off the tongue,
one anthem will rise
and, emblazoned by faith,
will catch on like wildfire!

A Pentecost benediction by Kelly Ann Hall.

Photo acknowledgment:
Left – NorthKorea SouthKorea/Summit, Reuters . Center – The Risen Lord, He Qi
Right – U.S. President Donald Trump walks on South Lawn of the White House, Reuters

Pax Trump
Who should receive the Nobel Peace Prize, they say
Mr. Moon says
What we need is only peace

To praise and give recognition
Defines who we are
Who do we praise and give recognition in the church?

The Ascended Lord of the cosmos and its ultimate end
Speaks and acts
Fills everything with his Presence
In and through the body of Christ for the world peace

What we need is only the peace of Christ
the church prays
Thanks be to God for the body of Christ broken for the world

Pax Christi. Amen.

 

Reef Knot

You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, says Jesus to the church.

To tie a (reef) knot
Two strings are brought together
Twisted into one
Looped along together
Then pulled
Two strings knotted and bound together

By Christ
Tied into a knot into the family of God
No, not by my choice
Yes, by the choice of God
The family of God is brought together
Twisted, looped and pulled
Knotted and bound together
By Christ

Jesus says “once there was a father who had two sons…”
We say
“This son of yours”
“This daughter of yours” doesn’t belong
God says
“This brother of yours”
“This sister of yours” belong
For God in Christ
By the hard and costly love of the cross
Tied us into a knot
The family of God

Vine

I AM the vine and you are branches
Says Jesus to the church

Vine full of life
Wild, thick, dense and lush
Branches reaching in, climbing up and down
The cracks, the spaces in-between, no space unfilled
Take over the fence dividing me and my neighbour
Alas! The fence, the wall, the barrier is breaking down!
Yes, Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches
Breaking down the fence of division

I AM the vine and you are branches
Says Jesus to the church

Merino Sheep Flock

(Acknowledgement – photo named “New Zealand Merino Sheep Flock Icebreaker” from website Southern Ascent)

“I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep,” Jesus says (John 10:11-18). What would it be like to imagine this as a journey – dynamic and risky like all good adventure “farther along and by and by” (song Farther Along by Josh Garrels)? How would we reimagine our faith journey of following the good shepherd? Perhaps Jesus the good shepherd takes us the flock through the dangerous terrains of life. If the dream of heaven is one flock, one shepherd, perhaps the good shepherd takes us through the dangerous terrains to bring to him the other sheep that do not belong to our fold yet.

Good shepherd lays downs his life for the sheep.

Then what about good sheep?

Fragile Autumn Leaves

As Fragile as an Autumn Leaf

Entrusting ourselves to God’s love in Christ and by the Holy Spirit entrusting ourselves to each other. I’m fragile like an autumn leaf. You are fragile like an autumn leaf. Let us be entrusted to God and be saturated by Christ, our love. In Christ, take me as I am. Pray for me as I pray for you remembering we are autumn leaves weathered but afloat in water.

Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

You Tube video – Presbyterians Beneath the Southern Cross.

Rev. David Sang-Joon Kim – Induction and Ordination

This month we are welcoming our new minister Rev. David Sang-Joon Kim. It was a special service here on Thursday 5 April for his Ordination and Induction.

David San-Joon Kim
St Mark's Band at Ordination
St Mark's Choir
St Mark's Congregation at Ordination

Daily Encourager

The media have a huge impact on people’s lives. The Daily Encourager website – ‘News that builds people up’ – creates a hopeful environment that brings light and life to a world that lives large chunks of its time in despair and anxiety.

Click on the link below to find New Zealand stories that demonstrate courage and initiative, care and compassion, generosity, and love and grace.

https://dailyencourager.co.nz/

New Role – Community Ministry Leader

St Mark’s Parish wants to appoint a person to a new role in the parish, that of Community Ministry Leader. If you would like a full description of this new part time position please contact the St Mark’s Office on 358 5443 or email office@stmarks.net.nz.

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